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Tropicana, Pepsi Overhaul Packaging

20090113-tropicana02.jpgIf you're an orange juice drinker, you've already noticed the Tropicana brand redesign. The New York Times had a bit about it last week that explains the motive behind the drastic change:

One noticeable change is the disappearance of the longtime Tropicana symbol, a straw stuck in an orange that stood for the juice’s fresh taste. The device is being replaced by a tall glass filled with Tropicana and an orange-colored twist cap atop large cartons that is shaped like a halved orange.

Here's what design geeks said about it when previews went up in October:

This new packaging feels, at best, like a discount store brand with what looks like, again, at best, rights-managed stock photography if not outright royalty free. And the typography is, once more, at best, a lame derivative of how the British have lately exploited geometric sans serifs like Futura and Avenir to great results—here's just one example of many.

Ouch! [Tropicana's fatal flaw, and Pepsi's facelift, after the jump.]

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As a Colorblind-American, I have a hard time distinguishing between the subtle variations in hue and thus run the risk of selecting golden grapefruit juice in lieu of orange juice—pulp-free, thank you very much.

I'm but an amateur when it comes to typography and design, and I have to admit that I sort of liked the clean sans-serif typeface on this packaging. (Design aficionados, start your flogging.) But for me, this packaging fails in one major respect. I'm colorblind, and the glasses of orange juice, apple juice, and juice blends on the package all pretty much look the same to me. I now have to read the package carefully before grabbing it. (And, yeah, you'd think reading the package would be a given anyway, but you'd be surprised at how you become accustomed to "reading" the carton using imagery rather than what it actually says.)

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Pepsi got a facelift, too.

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Fans of "Twilight," this Pepsi's for you.

Tropicana's not the only beverage unveiling a visual remake in recent weeks. Pepsi, which owns Tropicana, also got a makeover, which I'm sure you've seen if you frequent the soda aisle. Design geeks also give this one a big negatory. That's in contrast to Coca-Cola's most recent redesign, which drew raves.

Pepsi has certainly come a long way from its original 1898 lettering (above right), though, which looks like something teenage vampire fans would dig.

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